Turning your Interview into an Offer – Part I

From the initial phone interview to one or more face-to-face interviews, to the follow-up, if you want the position, you need interview perfection.

The phone interview:
A phone interview is often the first proving ground – your opportunity to earn an invitation for face-to-face time with the company that meets your ideals. Take it seriously and be professional.
Ensure that you will have a quiet place – no background noise.
If you are using a cell, choose a location with a strong signal and clear reception.
Introduce yourself, of course, but let the interviewer set the pace. Follow their initial cues and clues to judge the “tone” of the call. Listen carefully, use that perceptive, analytical skill to “hear” between the lines and discern what they are really asking/
Prepare ahead and have your notes in front of you. This includes:
Your notes from when you researched the company – including recent and prominent news items.
Bios of the person who will be interviewing you plus other main players.
Your resume with key points highlighted.
Specific examples of cases where your critical thinking, problem-solving skills, leadership, strength of discernment, etc. made the difference, or at least a significant contribution to the outcome.
If you are a new graduate, you should still have examples from work you did as an intern, volunteer or part-time positions, etc. – this is specifically essential if your interview is with someone from the company where you interned.
Your list of references and otherwise connected persons.
A list of well thought out, pertinent questions for when they give you the floor.
Laptop, paper, and pen for keeping notes during the interview.
Speak articulately, concisely, and with confidence. Focus on the abilities, past accomplishments, and education that makes you right for the position. Be ready to offer a solid explanation for any gaps or areas where you are less than what they are seeking. Be positive, assertive – but not aggressive; confident – but not cocky; and personable – but not invasive.
Smile during the interview – yes, it does make a difference – even on the phone.

By being prepared, you can make a great impression and earn yourself that all-important invite to interview in person.

The interview is over, but there are still “duties” to take care of if you want to secure yourself an invitation to interview in person.
Take time as soon as possible to write notes about your interview – what was said, unique points, common ground, etc. These will help you immensely when you are called for that in-person interview.
Send a thank you – an immediate email is significant and it’s acceptable to only do that, but a handwritten note is huge – especially in our high-tech world. It will set you apart. Thank them for the opportunity of an interview as well as their time. Restate why you want to work for them and why you are the person for the job.
Don’t overdo – express your thanks, and then be patient – if they gave you a time frame, follow it; if not, pay attention to cues to know how soon you should call back.
Don’t talk about interview details with others – treat it as confidential.
Don’t immediately connect with the interviewer on social media – it will come across as in-their-face.

Acing your phone interview and an adept follow-up are stepping stones to that in-person interview. In our next blog, we will cover the keys to a winning in-person interview that secures your dream position in the company of your choice.

Springborn Staffing is here to offer advice and tips for career growth. We are your essential connection to quality companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine We specialize in matching top talent with premier companies. Contact us today and strengthen your career journey.

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